Performance Evaluation: Spring Games
Donnie Joseph – The left-handed relief pitcher is somewhat of a underdog to win a battle in the Royals bullpen but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the most talented candidate for the job. ¬†The lefty used just 15 pitches to strikeout Brandon Allen, Mike Olt and Leonys Martin Saturday in his one inning of work. ¬†He did it by mixing his low 80′s slider and upper 80′s fastball which should tick back to the low 90′s by the start of the season. ¬†If Joseph can cure his control issues then he has the two pitches to improve an already stacked bullpen as he can handle righties while dominating lefties.
Dan Wheeler – Its just one inning but the veteran reliever worked in the high 80′s and touched 90 once which likely means he’s fully recovered and ready to compete. ¬†He isn’t as dominant a reliever as Herrera, Holland or Crow but he could provide a nice veteran addition to the pen while eating up some 6th and 7th inning assignments during the season. Kudos to Dayton for finding this veteran option.
Salvador Perez- ¬†5 hits, 1 walk in 10 plate appearances and guns down the only runner dumb enough to try him on. ¬†Is there anyone even close to Sal as Team MVP in the games he’s played the last two years? ¬†Seriously this guy does it all when he’s on the field and he’s easily been the best player on the team in the games he’s played. ¬†Nothing against Billy or Alex but this kids dominates every facet of the game.
The Ups and Downs
Yordano Ventura – Jason Cole said it best via twitter “Yordano Ventura rolls out of bed throwing upper-90s.” ¬†The fact that the blazing right-handed starter can jump out on the first game of spring and hit 99 on the gun multiple times is extremely impressive. ¬†While he can hit 99 and likely 100 his big HR given up to Nelson Cruz showed the fireballer that if you miss against major league hitters the ball will find the grass berm.
Luis Mendoza – The Royals big starter appears to be mid-season ready right now giving the team four innings yesterday despite a defense that was crumbling around him. ¬†He wasn’t dominant but he was able to evade trouble and allow just one run despite runners being on base in every inning while multiple runners were in scoring position in the first couple of innings.
John Lamb – Big ups to John who got on the mound against major league hitters for the first time in quite sometime. ¬†According to Bob Dutton and Jason Parks the lefty worked from 84-87 while touching 89 one time. ¬†He gave up some contact giving up four hits and a run but finished off his outing by collecting a strikeout on a big breaking slow curve. ¬†It was a big step forward for the lefty who will continue to try to build his arm strength to the low to mid 90′s he previously threw with.
Second Base Battle – No player separated themselves from the pack at 2nd base over the weekend as the triumvirate went a combined 1 for 12 in the three game set. ¬†This position is a definite weakness for the team and didn’t perform any different in the first three games.
Eric Hosmer – The Hos made an error and didn’t produce any damage with the bat in the first three games. ¬†The supposed phenom did produce runs with a couple groundouts to the right side. ¬†Ultimately it doesn’t matter if Hos goes 0 for 30 or crushes pitching the way he did last spring.
I’ll be looking forward to Chris Dwyer’s start today to see if the lefty can regain the velocity that earned him $1.45M out of Clemson.
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